The Department of Health (DOH) has tagged 18 communities in Eastern Visayas as coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) hotspots.
These areas have a clustering of cases or recorded at least three infected residents in the past two weeks, DOH 8 (Eastern Visayas) head, Minerva Molon, said in a statement on Friday.
In Samar, these are the villages of Dagum, Balud, Obrero, San Policarpio, Capoocan, Maulong, Rawis, Carmen, Poblacion 2, and Guindapunan, all in Catbalogan City, and Awang West and East, both in Calbayog City.
Identified areas in Leyte are the villages of Pitogo in Jaro town, Sto. Niño in Alangalang, District II Poblacion in Tabontabon, and Palarao in Leyte town, and in Southern Leyte, the villages of Combado and Mantahan in Maasin City.
“We have enhanced surveillance in these areas to contain the spread of the virus. We continue to coordinate with concerned local governments for contact tracing and urge them to intensify and continue the implementation of different initiatives to break the chain of transmission,” Molon said.
She also urged village officials to step up their implementation of minimum public health standards.
Molon said the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) plays a crucial role in monitoring close contacts, suspected, probable, and confirmed Covid-19 patients in the communities.
“The BHERTs in different communities have been contributing much in this fight. Let us know and approach them as they are always ready to assist you,” she said, calling on the public to immediately report to them anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Despite rising cases in these areas, the DOH said the region has maintained a high recovery rate.
Based on the report of the regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, 4,809, or 85.21 percent, of the region’s 5,644 confirmed cases since March have already recovered, while 54 patients have died of complications.
“Most recorded deaths here are senior citizens and those with comorbidities, such as kidney and heart diseases, hypertension, and diabetes. We have a high recovery but we must not be complacent. We continue to advocate the strict practice of minimum health standards since we still observe several people who do not follow them,” Molon said.
To date, the region has 781 patients confined in hospitals, community isolation units, and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities. (PNA)